Location and Description
Dow Lake Dam is located in Strouds Run State Park in Athens County, just east of the city of Athens. The dam was originally constructed in 1959 and serves as a recreational lake for the park.
The facility includes an earth fill embankment and an 8-foot-diameter concrete spillway pipe with a 16-foot-diameter concrete riser. The structure has a 2-foot diameter sluice gate lake drain in the spillway riser. The dam is 775 feet long and 66 feet high. Dow Lake (aka Strouds Run Lake) impounds approximately 161 acres at normal pool and has a contributing drainage area of 7.3 square miles. The lake storage capacity is more than 692 million gallons of water.
As a Class I structure, a sudden failure of Dow Lake Dam likely would result in the structural collapse of at least one residence or one commercial or industrial business and probable loss of human life. (Hazard ratings refer to the consequences of dam failure, not the dam’s condition.)
Several slides previously have been observed on the earthen embankment, requiring temporary repairs over the past two years. Also, the dam does not meet current state dam safety standards and does not currently pass the minimum design flood standard..
Preliminary alternatives for the remediation of these problems were considered and a recommended alternative was selected. Based upon the condition of the downstream slope, the embankment will be widened increasing the crest width by 50 feet and by flattening the slope of the downstream face of the embankment from 2.5H:1V to 3H:1V. The toe drain system will be replaced and a chimney drain system will be added to the embankment during widening. Improvements to meet flood capacity will be made as part of a future construction project. Construction will begin in Spring, 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in September. The total cost of construction is $2.2 million.
Long Term Plan
Routine inspections and maintenance of the dam will continue. An emergency action plan will be revised and shared with local emergency management officials once it is completed.
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